Friday, June 4

Attack on the Onyx (Original Fiction by Xan)

With the six guns on the starboard side loaded and ready to fire with a flip of a switch and a run of fuse Maccus and Piper remain below decks for their captains’ orders. Kilzar sat in wait on the steps between the gun deck and the main deck to relay the order to fire. Salt stood in a crouch at the helm of the Dryad Duchess ready to flip the switch to release the air elemental that lay dormant in the bindings of the ship. Jenny stood at the forecastle deck ready with a hatchet in her hand to cut the tow line connecting the crippled Duchess to the dreaded Onyx.
The crew aboard the Duchess lay in wait, they were so quiet and still they could hear Blackfin barking orders to his crew over the crashing of the waves on the ship.
“Tighten the Fore Sail you mangy sea dogs!” The gurgle and the coarseness of the voice could only be accredited to the dreaded shark known as Blackfin. “Keep that Jib tight you bilge rat!”
Jenny’s stomach turned as she reflected on the visions of her father bleeding out in that Inn over a year ago, branded by the Black Delta, the light fading out of his eyes as he gasped his last words, “Promise me you will not go looking for Blackfin, but you will RUN and take the Duchess far away from here.”
“He came looking for me, Father.” Jenny mumbled under her breath as she tightened her grip on the hatchet. “He took our ship and it is time to take her back.” She took a deep breath and barked the words that her deck hands had been waiting to hear. “NOW!”
As if the crew were one being everything happened at once. The fuses started sparking and spitting as they slowly crept like a fiery snake towards the six guns on the starboard side of the Duchess, the windy roar of the air elemental could be heard as it ripped in a circular motion around the bindings encircling the ship, and the mooring line holding the Duchess hostage by her bow dropped into the water. The Duchess leapt forward in the water like a horse rears up on its rear legs before bolting. Just as the elemental brigantine drew up along the port side of the Onyx the six guns thundered to life raking it with splinters of wood and steel bursting into the air. The schooner lurched and stalled as the main mast took a direct hit and came crashing to the deck crossing the gap between the two vessels and creating a perfect boarding platform for the crew of the Duchess.
Without so much as an order to board the Onyx, Kilzar had already fired his blunderbuss into the disoriented crew of the schooner and was on his way across the fallen mast. Fire of his fallen ancestors burned in his eyes as he pulled out a second hand axe and ran into the fray yelling out battle cries in ancient dwarven. Salt was standing at the helm as he reached into an iron chest at his feet and pulled out what looked to be a small rusty cannon barrel the length of his forearm. Within seconds Salt’s right forearm had been replaced by this cannon barrel and Salt was firing fist sized cannonballs at the opposing vessel taking down two or three crewmen at a time. Maccus had strapped on a leather harness in which Piper could easily sit and cover his massive friends’ backside as they traversed the ship in great spans. Maccus scaled up the Duchess’ foremast in seconds and traversed to the Onyx in a blink of an eye, his massive ape-like arms propelling him with supernatural speed all the while Piper was raining down a barrage of pistol shot from his harness. The pirate crew of the Onyx was in disarray not knowing what had happened only seconds before now they were fighting for their lives in a seemingly losing battle against a massive army of six.
Amidst the shrapnel of exploding ship and musket balls Jenny made her way to the deck of the Onyx and after cutting down many rogue pirates she had located Blackfin near the foremast. Their eyes locked and it seemed that the world slowed down as the two engaged in battle.

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